Changes to the UK’s Air Passenger Duty

Back in January last year I wrote a post explaining how the UK's Air Passenger Duty (APD) worked, and how you can avoid paying it. George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, today announced in a couple of changes in his Budget 2014 to how APD will be calculated.


The main thing to note that the new system, active from 1st April 2015 and will still be calculated by distance between London and the capital city of the country of where you are flying. So for instance the APD from UK to Russia is the same wherever your final destination is…Moscow or Vladivostok

Screenshot from 2014-03-19 19:28:27

The current prices of APD, which came into effect on 1st April 2013 are:

  • Band A; 0-2,000 miles: £13 for economy class, £26 for premium
  • Band B; 2,001-4,000 miles: £67 for economy class, £134 for premium
  • Band C; 4,001-6,000 miles: £83 for economy class, £166 for premium
  • Band D; 6,000+ miles: £94 for economy class, £188 for premium

The new prices, starting 1st April 2015

  • Band A; 0-2,000 miles: £13 for economy class, £26 for premium
  • Band B; 2,000+ miles: £71 for economy class, £142 for premium

Clearly, the difference is that Bands C and D are wrapped into the new Band B. The BBC link which I referenced above seems to have its figures muddled, as the examples of going to Hawaii and Trinidad are based on the “Higher Rate” which only applies to those on aircrafts over 20 tonnes and with maximum 19 passengers — i.e. a private jet. The ones which I mentioned are the “Reduced Rate” and “Standard Rate” respectively.

The UK Government's spin is that it helps families save cash. I really don't think a drop of £23 per person on a trip to Australia on APD will make a huge difference, considering Heathrow Airport's “Service Charge” and most airlines' dirty trick of ‘fuel surcharges' will gobble up most of the difference. Still, credit where it's due, Osborne clearly sees some sense.

Now would it be asking too much to have it scrapped altogether?


About Tim

Tim is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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    • Most GDS systems don’t ticket more than 355 days ahead, so are you sure your ticket is after 1st April 2015? Assuming it is I should think you can call them up and have tax removed?

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